FEI COMPETITION REPORT
Burghley (GBR), 4 September 2009
Audio links (click on name to listen to the interview):
Oliver Townend (GBR), in the lead after Dressage
Philip Dutton (USA), was in the lead after first day of Dressage on 45.3
John Paul Sheffield (GBR), was 2nd after first day of Dressage on 46.5
OLIVER TOWNEND ON SERIOUS QUEST AT THE LAND ROVER BURGHLEY HORSE TRIALS
The violently windy conditions at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) proved no handicap to the leader after Dressage, Oliver Townend (GBR), who is also heading the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM at this fourth leg of the worldwide series of CCI 4s.
Townend, 26, conjured a beautiful, light performance out of the elegant grey Carousel Quest, a new ride for him this year and 8th at the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event in April. He was the only rider to earn less than 40 penalties, which gives him a 5.2 penalty lead over Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Nereo.
"I was worried about the flying changes, with the wind, but he felt as good as he's ever been," said Townend.
The 14-year-old Carousel Quest has already been placed at Burghley, in 2006 when he was 4th with previous rider Cressida Clague-Reading (GBR). In contrast, Nereo is only 9, but he won Bramham CCI*** in June and has the benefit of probably the most experienced jockey in the field.
"It's a big step up for him, but he's a very rideable horse," commented Nicholson, 48, who had a far smoother ride in contrast to his acrobatics on his first horse, Armada, now 69th.
Nicholson's Olympic team mate Caroline Powell is in 3rd place on her hugely experienced and athletic Hong Kong horse Lenamore, with first-day leader Phillip Dutton (USA) now relegated to 4th, by just 0.1 of a penalty.
William Fox-Pitt (GBR), last year's HSBC FEI ClassicsTM winner, is in 8th place after a tactfully ridden test on Seacookie, but just 2.5 penalties covers the horses placed 13th to 19th, thus ensuring a thrilling Cross-Country competition.
80 horses started the Dressage
2 horses failed the first Horse Inspection (Georgie Spence's Birthday Night and Rodney Powell's Zinzan ll)
9 riders have 2 horses
12 nations represented: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, USA
Ground Jury is David Lee (President, IRL), Roeli Bril (NED), Sue Baxter (GBR)
Marks range from 39.8 to 83.8
4.8 penalties cover horses placed from 2nd to 16=
3 jumping efforts, 570m and 55sec of the time allowance have been chopped off Burghley's traditional Cross-Country, giving an optimum time of 10 min 30 seconds
Cross-Country starts at 11am, local time
Oliver Townend, 1st, on taking on a made horse: "It's nice to have a horse where you just push the buttons instead of producing it."
Andrew Nicholson, 2nd, on the course: "Mark Phillips has produced a very clever course. I think it's difficult. The bit we've lost was the smoothest galloping part and I think it will make it difficult to catch up with time. He has also utilised the undulating ground here very cleverly."
First-timer Allison Springer (USA), 7th: "Arthur can be such a spooky horse, but it's never in a bad way. He's a kind horse and today he was super good. I bought him as a five-year-old and produced him myself, so he's my boy and it's fun to have him here. I'd be kidding if I said I wasn't nervous about the Cross-Country, but I'm glad I'm on him."
Zara Phillips (GBR), World Champion, 16= on Glenbuck: "He did some nice bits. It wasn't as good as it should have been, but we got some good marks and I'm pretty happy. I hope we've sorted out Glenbuck's problems. He's been suffering from a respiratory problem, which is why he got tired last year, but he now feels super-fit - I hope!"
Photo caption: Oliver Townend (GBR) and Carousel Quest are in the lead at the end of the Dressage phase of the fourth leg of the HSBC FEI ClassicsTM at Burgley © Kit Houghton. Additional photos - for editorial use only - are available from the FEI Photo Catalogue.
1 Oliver Townend/Carousel Quest (GBR) 39.8
2 Andrew Nicholson/Nereo (NZL) 45.0
3 Caroline Powell/Lenamore (NZL) 45.2
4 Phillip Dutton/Truluck (USA) 45.3
5 J-P Sheffield/Crown Prince Consort (GBR) 46.5
6 Kai Ruder/Leprince des Bois (GER) 46.7
7 Allison Springer/Arthur (USA) 47.3
8 William Fox-Pitt/Seacookie (GBR) 47.5
9 Matt Ryan/Bonza Puzzle (AUS) 48.2
10= Kitty Boggis/Boondoggle (GBR) 48.3
10= Sam Griffiths/Happy Times (AUS) 48.3
10= Karin Donckers/SS Jett (BEL) 48.3
The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials TV transmission times - Sunday 6th September BBC2, 2.00pm-3.30pm - presented by Clare Balding
2009 HSBC FEI CLASSICSTM Standings (after 3 of 5 events):
1 Oliver Townend (GBR) 18 points
2 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 17
3 Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) 15
4 Michael Jung (GER) 15
5 Bettina Hoy (GER) 12
6 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 12
7 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 11
8 Bruce Davidson Jnr (USA) 10
9 Dirk Schrade (GER) 10
10 Sam Griffiths (AUS) 10
11 Nicholas Touzaint (FRA) 8
12 Mary King (GBR) 8
13 Roberto Rotatari (ITA) 8
HSBC FEI CLASSICSTM CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2009
1. 22-26 April Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event (USA)
2. 7-10 May Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR)
3. 11-14 June Luhmühlen CCI**** presented by E.ON Avacon Vertrieb (GER)
4. 3-6 September The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR)
5. 21-25 October Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA)
Points will be awarded to the Top Ten riders at each event as follows:
Riders can only win points with their best horse/performance at one event and if the combination has obtained a qualifying result. In case of equality of points, the best placed rider is the competitor with the lowest total of penalty points at the specific event (=differentiating score).
1st: 15 points
2nd: 12 points
3rd: 10 points
4th: 8 points
5th: 6 points
6th: 5 points
7th: 4 points
8th: 3 points
9th: 2 points
10th: 1 point
1. William Fox-Pitt (GBR
2. Nicolas Touzaint (FRA)
3. Frank Ostholt (GER)
4. Phillip Dutton (USA)
5. Bettina Hoy (GER)